Learning how to sell on Redbubble is the perfect low-risk entry into the world of eCommerce.
It costs nothing to start and is easy to set up: all you need to do is design artwork for printing on t-shirts and other products.
And once you create designs and upload to your redbubble store, you can sell dozens of items in under an hour.
So, if you’re thinking about launching a Redbubble shop and want to know more, this article is for you.
I’ll cover setting up your redbubble account, uploading your designs, and how you can promote your redbubble products using social media to start making sales.
Table of Contents
Redbubble is a print-on-demand marketplace for designers and artists to sell products featuring their artwork.
Print-on-demand (POD) means that a design is printed on a product after a shopper has selected a design.
The primary benefit of the print on demand business model is that it allows you to sell a wide range of products featuring your designs without the need to invest in stocks of pre-printed items.
You need to create your own original artwork, and once a shopper buys an item with your design on it, Redbubble pays you a commission for the sale.
Redbubble is an ideal entry point for new entrepreneurs and artists who want to sell art and experiment with a low-risk business model.
To set up an account with redbubble, click the signup link on their homepage. Enter your email address and create a password for the site. Next, pick a name to use as your redbubble store name.
Choose your name carefully, as once you’ve entered it, you can’t change it without deleting your account and re-registering.
What should you call your shop?
Once you’ve registered, update your profile with an Avatar and a cover image for your shop.
You can also add a short bio to tell your customers more about yourself. Don’t skip this part; it’s an opportunity to make a connection with potential customers and sell your story.
Once your profile is complete, the next step is to enter your payment details and add your social media accounts.
Enter your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram details, which you can use later for promoting your designs.
Redbubble also requires your full name, address, and preferred payment method. Choose between payment via a verified PayPal account or directly into your bank account.
At this point, depending on where you live, you may also be asked country-specific tax questions.
Once you’ve completed your payment information, you’re ready for the next step of uploading your designs and listing some products for sale.
Now it’s time to upload your first design and pick the product types you want to sell.
I’ve written about my experience selling print on demand products before. It’s worth a read because, I found, print-on-demand success depends on more than just a couple of interesting designs.
In my experience, you need to pick a niche, create a brand, and build an audience for your products.
I’m not saying you won’t sell anything if you upload a mish-mash of designs, but it’s better to create a brand and build a proper business with longevity.
Redbubble recommends you use an image that is 9075 x 6021 pixels in size. This is an enormous size but is necessary to allow printing on their entire range of products. You can upload smaller images, but the minimum requirement is 1000 pixels along one side.
Just be aware, if you use a smaller image, you will narrow the product types you can sell in your store.
I recommend you use a .png format for your artwork. The .png format has a transparent background, represented by a grey and white check pattern like in the image below.
The check pattern is replaced by whatever’s in the background; i.e., if you used the image below a blue t-shirt, you would only see the black circle on a blue background.
(Redbubble also lets you upload .jpg files too. These files don’t have a transparent background, but they are helpful if you are creating pattern designs.)
To upload your design, navigate to the Artists Tools dashboard via your account settings. Then select the ‘Add designs’ option on the left.
Next, click ‘Upload new work,’ select an image from your computer, and click ’Open.’ Redbubble will import your image.
I’ve uploaded a coffee cup image in the example below. When your image uploads, you then need to add a few details. Write an image title, a few tags to help people find your design, and a description to describe and help sell it.
Once you’ve entered this information, scroll down the page, and you will see your image mocked up on a range of products.
You can edit and customize your design on each product. Alternatively, you can create patterns from your artwork for a different look. Plus, you can choose not to sell on products you don’t think are suitable for your design.
Once you’ve edited the look on the products you want to sell, at the foot of the page are a few details to complete and a copyright disclaimer.
The design stage is now complete, and your products should appear in your store in approximately fifteen minutes.
Underneath your design summary, you will find a grid of product images mocked up with your design. If you click on the three-button menu, you can download these images and use them to promote your products on social media.
As you can see, it’s easy to sign up and list designs for sale on Redbubble!
So easy that anyone can do it. But this ease of use, unfortunately, creates its own problems.
Thousands of creators upload thousands of designs, meaning your products may struggle to stand apart from all the other ones.
To make regular sales, you’re going to need to create lots of good, original designs.
Successful designers don’t list just one or two designs; they list dozens, even hundreds of different ones. I’d recommend you aim to create large volumes and try to commit to uploading at least one design a day.
This seller has sold 17,000 units on Redbubble. He has 2,200 designs uploaded and only achieved daily sales after he’d uploaded 1,000 different designs for sale.
Another successful Redbubble seller confirms that it’s a numbers game. And that her success follows the 80/20 principle, where 80% of her profits come from 20% of her designs.
Putting a repeatable system in place can help you focus on a design style. This Redbubble seller called chestify, has 139 designs comprised solely of text slogans. You could easily replicate this kind of artwork.
And once you work out how to create one, you could easily upload a couple of designs every day to your portfolio.
If you don’t know the sorts of designs you would like to produce, here are two sources you can use for inspiration.
Bubbletrends displays daily trends on Redbubble, and you can choose a past date to check out what trended that day too.
A second place to look is on the Redbubble Top Sellers page.
You can view top sellers overall or drill down into a category such as t-shirts to see the best sellers there.
If you spend a few hours browsing these resources, you should gain an understanding of what‘s popular on Redbubble.
“Been there got the t-shirt” – Some people like wearing t-shirts with slogans about current events or trends.
Things like politics, celebrity spats, and world events can all be a source for creating designs that sell.
Selling on Redbubble is a numbers game—the more designs you upload, the better chance you have that someone purchases your products.
And along with uploading many designs, you should also optimise your artwork on as many products as possible.
You might think that no one would want a clock with a coffee cup picture on it, but you never know!
After you’ve uploaded your design, take a moment to optimise each product on your redbubble page so the design looks right: it would be a mistake only to sell stickers and t-shirts.
If you have sub niches within your main niche, but want to keep all your designs under the same brand, you can create collections.
Collections are a great way to both organise and showcase your products, giving your redbubble customers an easy way to see all the designs in your portfolio.
You also have the option to highlight specific collections in your profile which may help redbubble promote your products even further.
Redbubble, the company, makes money on every product sold.
Two elements make up a product’s selling price. There’s the base element, which covers Redbubble’s operating costs and profit, then there is the commission element, which is your cut of the sale.
The only way you can raise or lower a product’s selling price is by increasing or reducing your commission payment.
The default commission for every product is 20%.
So, if you sell a t-shirt for $20, you’ll earn a royalty payout of $4. If you reduce your commission to 10%, this will lower the t-shirt’s price and lower your profit.
Should you lower your commission payout to compete on price on the platform?
No, most redbubble sellers recommend you keep the price at the same 20% on most of your products.
You may shift a few more units with lower prices, but probably not enough to cover the lost profit had you kept it at the standard 20%.
The exception to this rule is stickers and other lower-priced items. Stickers are cheap to buy, so you’ll only make a few cents on each sale.
It’s better to increase your commission across this product category to 50%, so you earn more than just pennies.
You could be tempted to use copyrighted work, especially if you see other sellers getting away with it.
Be careful. Redbubble’s terms and conditions make you responsible for every design you upload.
If you rip off someone else’s design, they may raise a complaint with Redbubble, putting your account in jeopardy.
In 2020, Redbubble purged sellers from the platform they felt were guilty of copyright infringement. You don’t want to see all your hard work go to waste, so make sure your work is original.
Similar to google search, redbubble is a search engine, but just for its own products rather than everything on the web..
Redbubble’s shoppers find things they want to buy using the search bar on the Redbubble website.
So when you upload a new design, take advantage of the SEO opportunities of your product’s title, tags, and description.
Here’s what you should enter in each section.
Title – Use descriptive text that explains your artwork.
Tags – Enter 15 search terms shoppers might use to find your design.
Description – This is a short explanation of the design’s meaning. It’s your chance to ‘sell’ your work.
Spend a little time getting these three crucial elements right, so shoppers have the best chance of finding your products on Redbubble.
Redbubble’s products also display in Google’s search results. Your chances of appearing in this source of high traffic, increase when you concentrate on getting your title, tags, and description right.
You can also drive traffic to your product pages on Redbubble.
It’s best to rely on organic traffic from around the internet rather than pay for ad campaigns.
Profit margins are slim on print on demand products, so it’s unlikely you’d break even if you used a paid traffic source.
Here is a selection of methods that other sellers use to increase their sales on Redbubble.
You can post images of your products on Instagram to entice your social media followers over to your redbubble product pages.
Many sellers simply post the product mockup images, but to increase engagement, order one of your products and upload your own product pictures.
You can see some of the Instagram hashtags in the image above that you could use to attract views.
Pinterest pins are picked up and returned in the results by some of the search engines.
You can also use Pinterest as a kind of second storefront for your products too. Here’s a Pinterest shop front created by a mug and cup designer called Toikvadrat.
If you have a website or blog, you can easily add products to it with Redbubble’s script generator.
You can’t control which products to show. So if you want to show off a particular product, you need to grab the image and redbubble page link then create it yourself.
Redbubble is an Australian company, but they operate globally. They have manufacturing sites in Australia, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK.
Some items, like t-shirts, are printed in several countries. While others, like clocks and jigsaw puzzles, are only printed in one.
This means that some of your products will have high shipping fees depending on where the customer lives.
For example, if you want to sell clocks in the UK, most shoppers won’t pay the £18.24 it costs to ship this item from the US.
Use this page to check the location where products are shipped from before you target a specific item type.
Apart from this, Redbubble handles all the manufacturing and delivery to the customer so that you can focus on design and promotion.
If there is a problem with your orders, Redbubble deals with customer service and any returns too!
The Redbubble dashboard provides at-a-glance information about your sales and commissions.
But if you want to go deeper and discover how your customers find your products, you’ll need to set up your analytics.
Redbubble uses Google Analytics (GA) to track visitors, page views, and referrals. You need to register with GA, then copy and paste a Web Property ID from your GA account into Redbubble.
Once you’re all set up, the all-seeing Google provides valuable data about your customers.
For example, if you were doing lots of outreach on Instagram, it would be helpful to understand how many customers it bought in; without analytics, you’ll never know.
GA is free to use, and you only need to set it up once. Once you have, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your Redbubble business.
Redbubble has a monthly payment cycle that starts on the 15th of each month.
When your redbubble earnings exceed $20/£20/€20 in a payment cycle, Redbubble pays your full account balance to your PayPal or bank account.
For those who don’t reach the $20/£20/€20 threshold, Redbubble pays out anyone with earnings over $2/£2/€2 annually in December.
Some Redbubble sellers have multiple accounts because they target different niches.
Redbubble won’t combine multiple accounts, so you will need to reach the payment threshold for each one in order to be paid.
You can view financial reports and see your earnings anytime by looking at your Artist’s Dashboard.
Getting started on redbubble is easy.
Simply create a redbubble account, upload a wide array of art and designs, set up your redbubble store, set your commission rates and start telling the world you exist!
However, due to such a low barrier to entry, competition for selling on redbubble is fierce.
As with all online business ventures, consistency is the name of the game.
Pick a niche, create a brand, create a quality redbubble store and endeavour to upload new designs every single day.
Don’t give up after a few weeks of no results. Set a goal of uploading new designs on a daily basis for no less than 12 months and watch your redbubble store sales take off!
Redbubble is an online marketplace that sells print-on-demand products. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia but operates globally.
You need to be 16 years old to sell your designs on Redbubble. It’s against Redbubble’s terms of service if you open an account for someone if they’re under this age.
Redbubble does not own the rights to any of the artwork you upload to the site.
Instead, you licence your designs to Redbubble so they can sell products with your artwork printed on them. In return, you are paid a commission for any sales your work attracts.
Redbubble is free to join, and there is no charge to upload your designs.
Redbubble’s best-selling products are t-shirts, mugs, and stickers.
But they also sell a wide range of other products, including; shower curtains, pillows, posters, hoodies, canvas prints, notebooks, and kids’ clothing.
The best image format for Redbubble is .png, because of the transparent background.
However, if you are uploading a pattern, then it’s best to use a .jpeg.
Whether you start selling on redbubble or etsy really comes down to your business objectives overall.
Redbubble is completely free, dedicated to print on demand products and is easy to use. However, the commissions are quite small and it will take a lot of designs to start making money.
Etsy has upfront fees to get started, is more dedicated to unique arts and crafts (although you can also sell print on demand products), and is more hands on. However, you’ll likely make greater profit margins.
Do your due diligence on both platforms before getting started. It might be that you end up selling on both, increasing your number of potential customers!
True passive income is when you don’t lift a finger and make money in your sleep. This is more akin to investment strategies, where you’ve invested a sum of money and don’t touch it for ten years hoping compound interest or inflation does their job!
However, if you’re happy to call a couple of hours a day passive income then yes, selling on redbubble could be for you.
The most important tasks are uploading new designs and promoting your products across your social media networks. Spend a couple of hours a day doing that and you should start to see the money trickling in.
Are you likely to become an online millionaire? Highly unlikely, however, you may make enough to replace your job income or pay for your ideal lifestyle, which is what it’s all about!